Planet Iron Blogger SF

July 28, 2021

I Like Turtles

Homestake Trail

/2021/07/28/homestake-trail.html

July 28, 2021 04:00 AM

July 26, 2021

Certainly Strange

Work In Progress

Well I’m drawing my backlog at a glacial pace, so all I have for now is a WIP

by Steen at July 26, 2021 04:48 AM

Claire Kao

a GoFullPage by any other name would smell as sweet 🌹

For the past year and some change,

I've been operating an app mrcoles built almost 10 years ago: GoFullPage (fka Full Page Screen Capture).

One of the first things I did was change our name—we had learned the hard way that we had no IP protection in the face of a copycat app. For the name change, I became aware of trademark defensibility: 

Trademark Distinctiveness.png
2 Fast 2 Furious > The Fate of the Furious > Fast 5 > The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift > Fast & Furious

After a couple advertisement tests and, with the gofullpage.com domain already in use for our website, we committed to the name change:

image.png
I guess we're now somewhere in the middle of the distinctiveness spectrum: suggestive? 

And we just hit the year mark on the new name!

image.png
ヽ(✿゚▽゚)ノ


Why Notion has a Somalian domain

I'm glad we made the leap however, it seems in some cases, a company's name is really not that big of a deal...case in point, Notion...

Have you ever wondered why Notion's website is: https://www.notion.so/

I was typing it in the other day and was wondering if there was a cute reference or wordplay that I was missing (shout-out to all the .ly websites out there), so I looked it up and found this year-old Reddit thread asking this very question that a Notion person replied to:

image.png
".so was available" 

I absolutely love this, the arbitrariness of it all. It's a nice vignette amidst the heady teeth-grinding, world-forming narratives of tech companies. And this applies to the branding/naming discussion because 1) they weren't deterred to plow forward with the name Notion despite the ubiquity of the name??? and 2) website URL very important for an internet biz's brand!

Anyhow I think this in the end shows that good product wins out ?!?!? Most important is that people like using/consuming your product, it's helpful and easy to use, etc.; a good name is simply a bonus 🍒

While this might be an obvious point, there was still a tizzy of naming anxiety this week among Product Hunt people:
image.png
https://twitter.com/rrhoover/status/1417834915584954376

---------
P.S. emojipedia entry for 🍒: 
image.png
idk'ed about all that, I just happened to be eating cherries 😮

by Claire (claire.kao@hey.com) at July 26, 2021 04:18 AM

July 25, 2021

Randy Lubin

San Bruno Mountain

After ten years of living in SF, I finally made it up to the summit of San Bruno Mountain.

San Bruno Mountain is near the southern border of San Francisco and it separates the city from South San Francisco and Colma. It was a clear day and we had fantastic views from the top – we could a sweeping panorama that included downtown SF, Oakland and easy bay, Mount Diablo, and a good chunk of south bay. The western half of SF and much of Daly City and Colma were shrouded in fog but that just added to the view.

We started from a parking lot halfway up the mountain (at Guadalupe Canyon Parkway and Radio Road) and climbed the Summit Loop Train to the top. It was a nice 30min hike up and started out with a small forest and then wove through a series of valleys and overlooks before reaching the radio towers at the summit where we had spectacular views.

Next time I’ll aim for a clear day where I can see the Pacific side of the peninsula and I also might try hiking the ridge trail all the way east to where it looks over Highway 101.

After ten years of living in SF, I finally made it up to the summit of San Bruno Mountain.

July 25, 2021 09:00 PM

Doctor Popular

Yo-Yo Meetup in the Mission on July 31st

I’m hosting a yo-yo meetup in San Francisco next weekend in Dolores Park. The meetup will probably run from 2-5pm and we’ll be near the center of the park.

BTW, I made this flier using The Print Shop, an emulator of a classic Apple II printing program.

The post Yo-Yo Meetup in the Mission on July 31st appeared first on Doc Pop's Weblog.

by doc at July 25, 2021 06:30 PM

July 24, 2021

I Like Turtles

Surprise cousin visit

/2021/07/24/surprise-cousin-visit.html

July 24, 2021 04:00 AM

July 19, 2021

Doctor Popular

Testing the sketch block in WordPress

Since this blog is powered by WordPress, I thought it would be cool to test out Automattic’s new Sketch Block. This is a Gutenberg block you can install that allows you to create a drawing using your mouse or stylus. Here is the result:

If you are viewing the post on DocPop.org, you probably see some pink and blue lines, that is because the Sketch Block doesn’t fill in the background. A lesson I learned the hard way. (update: if you are viewing this post via RSS, the sketched image won’t show up at all). I’ve also captured a screenshot and used that as the featured image at the top of the post.

I tested out the Sketch App on my laptop, but it really works best when used with a stylus. For this experiment I used an iPad with an Apple Pencil. My biggest thoughts are:

  • An undo button would be nice
  • There should be a way to add background color (transparency is nice, but shouldn’t be the default)
  • The block should show a border so you know where you can draw (I constantly broke the entire image by dragging my stylus too far down)
  • Sketches don’t show up for RSS viewers
  • It’s a really cool idea though, very unique
  • I’m sure this is still a work in progress, so I look forward to seeing more updates

For more information, check out this clip from last week’s Torque Social Hour, where I tested the Sketch Block out and shared my feedback. Segment starts at 33:20.

The post Testing the sketch block in WordPress appeared first on Doc Pop's Weblog.

by doc at July 19, 2021 04:04 PM

Certainly Strange

Claire Kao

ciao to connecticut: creepy crawlies and a carnival

For the past year and a half, we've been living in Connecticut with family. It's been earthy, warm, and cozy, and a fascinating experience of multi-generational living. The locale itself is very different from anywhere else I've ever lived or spent time in. Somewhere between suburban and rural, slightly closer to rural: very wooded, a rotation of only several restaurants nearby, and a quiet and restorative pace to life. 

It's time to go back to NYC full-time though! Even though I've enjoyed my time out here, I have felt homesick for the city and for what makes up my community. This is our last month here, and this week kicked off the goodbye:

1. bit by a tick ! 
While I've been out here, I've become a bit of a gardener (though mostly via weeding). I am constantly warned of ticks, and somehow escaped most of my time here without a bite. But this week I finally got my Connecticut Credentials™ by getting bit by a tick (!!), while harvesting a beautiful crop of bok choy a family friend grew for me 🥬💛. Obviously, tick bites are no joke and this could have been very bad if I didn't catch it early, but am glad I have the experience under my belt so I know what to look out for in future

on the right: holding onto the tick so if my health takes a bad turn, we can take the tick in for testing to figure out what I might be dealing with

and, I get bit by mosquitos everywhere, no matter where I am, but continuing the theme of creepy crawlies I also got bit by a mosquito this week , , , this time on my 👁lid 

Hey You Guys
and to commemorate the bug-laden week, here's a temp tattoo of a bug on my ankle

2. a carnival ! that whole americana thing 

no rides for us because we saw Class Action Park

Sure, we have Coney Island in NYC and I also used to live above Williamsburg's Giglio Fest, but being an urbanite, I can't help but romanticize rural carnivals à la The Notebook. I played whack-a-mole for the first time and won a lil moocow

3. ciao
while we've been here much longer than we thought we would be, we've gotten really used to things. I've come to know the area better than I ever thought I would. It's been a safe haven for us during a scary and uncertain 2020, and it does feel weird to finally say I'm leaving a place that I was lingering in, but didn't fully feel that I belonged to. While we used to go places and visit different sights to attempt distraction in such a placid place, it feels a bit like we're going places to say bye now

ciao.jpg
( ゚д゚)つ Bye

by Claire (claire.kao@hey.com) at July 19, 2021 04:06 AM

mrcoles

Don’t FOIL, learn the distributive property instead

Don’t FOIL, learn the distributive property instead

July 19, 2021 03:51 AM

July 16, 2021

Diegetic Games

Æthelred's Academy for Aspiring Heroes

I’m excited to share a new game that my brother Greg Lubin and I just released: Æethelred’s Acadmey for Aspiring Heroes

Æthelred’s is a for-profit, non-accredited institution and players tell stilly stories about heroes going on quests in an attempt to earn certifications in specific adventuring skills.

The quest giver, quests, and certifications are all randomly generated, leading to adventures like: The Corrupt Mayor tasked you with Securing a Strategic Alliance and you must use this quest to demonstrate your skill in Interior Decorating.

We’ve had a lot of fun designing and playtesting it and we’d love to hear if you play it! Here’s the link again: https://storysynth.org/Games/Aethelreds-Academy/

July 16, 2021 07:00 PM

July 14, 2021

I Like Turtles

Fourth of July

/2021/07/14/fourth-of-july.html

July 14, 2021 04:00 AM

July 12, 2021

Doctor Popular

Bacon and Egg Musubi

During the pandemic there was a crazy demand for SPAM. I could still find plain SPAM and some generic versions, but I had to wait a full year before Safeway finally had some Bacon SPAM in stock again.

Now that I have it, you know I had to try making some bacon and eggs musubi.

The post Bacon and Egg Musubi appeared first on Doc Pop's Weblog.

by doc at July 12, 2021 03:19 PM

Certainly Strange

Mirror Glaze

I wanted to eat cake so I made a cake. It was my first time trying a mirror glaze and it turned out OK. I learned a lot at least!

by Steen at July 12, 2021 05:26 AM

mrcoles

Claire Kao

kwee’s week in photos

Saw my old Chinese teacher from the ICLP program in the translation acknowledgments of an incredible piece of Taiwanese queer speculative fiction (The Membranes)
First Shabu-Shabu in a year and a half: https://www.springshabu.com/
Celebrated 4th of July by taking in a US anthem lip sync from Marti Allen-Cummings !!! Made all the more patriotic by the fact that Marti just ran a historic campaign for NY city council as the first non-binary candidate. (Coincidentally, Marti was the runner-up to winner Shaun Abreu whom I knew in college, congrats Shaun 🎉)
New Yawk
Rockets Redglare 

Not-so-little cousin headed to Columbia in the fall 🥳 
Welcome 👁
the audacity of the caucasity 
V !!! 


by Claire (claire.kao@hey.com) at July 12, 2021 02:14 AM

July 11, 2021

I Like Turtles

Gilroy Gardens

/2021/07/11/gilroy-gardens.html

July 11, 2021 04:00 AM

July 10, 2021

Diegetic Games

Story Synth: Generator Format

The Generator format for Story Synth is now live and it looks great!

<iframe src="[https://www.loom.com/embed/2d813a53f3a649dcba72edf999fc298f](https://www.loom.com/embed/2d813a53f3a649dcba72edf999fc298f "https://www.loom.com/embed/2d813a53f3a649dcba72edf999fc298f")" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;"></iframe>

This format is a collaboration with Raph D’Amico and he did an outstanding job on developing a handful of style templates: light, dark, cyberpunk, fantasy, and vaporwave. I’ll be adding these styles to other formats soon to make custom design that much easier!

The Generator format is inspired by generators like Perchance and, like all Story Synth formats, has realtime multiplayer built in and it doesn’t require any coding (just add your content to a Google Sheet).

I’m excited to see folks start developing with this format – let me know if you need any help or have any feature requests!

July 10, 2021 12:00 AM

July 08, 2021

Claire Kao

los angeles

my home city, and a place that feels very weird to me. I typically go back 2 or 3 times a year to see family, but I haven't been able to since December 2019 because of COVID-19. My heart has ached so much over the last 18 months with the simple desire to give my mom a hug. 

So I just spent a week in the city, this time staying in Downtown LA (as opposed to West LA, where I grew up). 

Right out the gate, 

every weird feeling I have toward the place manifested. 

an early sight, driving into the city from LAX. the saddest, truest of LA welcomes

  • 🏩 Our hotel room was given away by the hotel. It was 2:30am and there was a brief window of time where I thought we'd have to spend the night at a Norms
  • 🏃‍♀️ walking at a moderate NYC pace the next morning, we were heckled by a couple teens in a Jeep who let out an ¡Ándale! at us
  • 🥵 I was on antibiotics and forgot what dry heat is like, so I had a mild heat exhaustion on the first day. little pink cherub face, dizziness, nausea, and a barf-y panic
  • 🏎️ Fast and the Furious demonstrations at all hours of the night. full-on donuts and spinning out in any given DTLA intersection 
 
And, in protest, my beloved new york pizza heart necklace broke:
broken NY necklace.jpg
I'm superstitious FYI

BUT staying in Downtown LA did allow for the most immersive film-viewing experience of my life. Se7en was playing on the hotel TV one night !!!
I had never seen it, not out of active avoidance, but I figured it would make itself known to me one day. And the right time, the right place it WAS
Police sirens sounding all night, the blue neon light of the hotel sign shining into the room, the strange car-filled, low-rise/high-rise urbanity of Downtown that surrounded us and was reflected in the movie, and an ending I had read about countless times:
what's in the box.gif
please read Shea Serrano's theory to the question of what's in the box

urban planning, homelessness, politics

one thing that had developed quite noticeably over the past year and a half were the large spread of tent cities and informal settlements under many underpasses and along the freeways.
And, during the week we were in the city, the LA city council passed further restrictions on encampments:
 
LATimes encampment ban.png
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-07-01/los-angeles-city-council-approves-anti-camping-regulations

I know New Yorkers are not much better at supporting and getting resources to unhoused people, but holy hell, it had my blood boiling to see in-person such stark, evolved inequity followed by the sweep-it-under-the-rug, let's-criminalize-it-instead attitude and actions undertaken by the LA city council. My number one issue as a voter at this point is probably housing, which then includes myriad other progressive issues (because it's! all! connected!).

While we were in LA, there was another horrific event involving what was supposed to be a controlled detonation of fireworks, but that ended up being a preventable, major explosion with 17 injured. We were 2.5 miles away, and heard a huge boom, but didn't know what it was until we saw the news of the explosion. Here's some more context from someone from the South LA neighborhood where it happened:
Tweet about LA Fireworks Explosion.png

One of the reasons for the controlled explosion given by the LAPD was that they couldn't have the explosives traveling on the 405. This was a particularly grating judgment call to cite in light of LA's history of urban planning policies that prioritized freeways/car thruways over communities of color. If you don't believe me, you can watch this documentary (East LA Interchange) to learn more about why just South of Downtown LA there is a massive crossing of four freeways; and who was displaced and viewed as disposable in favor of a towering monument to car culture. 

In any case,

a weird week where I didn't really like the city I was in, though I loved the people and family I was able to see. I was glad to be heading out when I got to the airport at the end of the week, but I still bawled my eyes out from the security line all the way through to boarding because of the heartache of saying bye to my mom. But on one of our drives together this week, she told me more about her immigration to the country, and how a decade passed where she saw her family extremely infrequently and had very little contact. She shared how she didn't question this as it was a natural sacrifice in the decision to immigrate. I guess my takeaway is to recognize that though we can't spend every waking moment together, I can still soothe my heartache by appreciating and holding as tight as possible to the moments we do have together
( ノ ゚ー゚)ノ \(゚ー゚\)

————————————
Addition: July 8, 2021
a relevant quote from a recent New Yorker article about building a railroad to the West—
Explaining Los Angeles is a kind of perpetual American enterprise, since its existence—it has little by way of water, or harbor, or history—is apparently so inexplicable. 

by Claire (claire.kao@hey.com) at July 08, 2021 11:54 PM

July 05, 2021

mrcoles

A console.log decorator in JavaScript

A console.log decorator in JavaScript

July 05, 2021 04:48 AM

July 04, 2021

Doctor Popular

Thinking out loud about my next game project

I recorded a short video for my KnifeTank: The Shüffling backers on Youtube, but thought I’d share it here as well. Basically I have a ton of board games I’ve designed, but I’m not sure which one to release next.

The post Thinking out loud about my next game project appeared first on Doc Pop's Weblog.

by doc at July 04, 2021 11:38 PM

July 03, 2021

I Like Turtles

Land's End

/2021/07/03/lands-end.html

July 03, 2021 04:00 AM

July 01, 2021

Potterblog

June 28, 2021

Diegetic Games

Preview: Story Synth Generator

Here’s a quick preview of an upcoming Story Synth format called Generator.

This format aims to take the ease of designing Story Synth games in Google Sheets and apply it to storytelling game generators. Generators are tools that let you create multiple lists of prompts and randomly grab one prompt from each list. Perchance is probably the most popular generator site at the moment and DNGNGEN is probably the high water mark for visual design for a one-off game generator.

The Story Synth generator will be purely powered by Google Sheets an allow designers to specify row layouts, color schemes (from templates or custom) and much more. It’ll also be realtime multiplayer, unlike the competition.

I’m collaborating with Raph D’Amico on this project and he’ll be spicing up the visual design. We hope to release it in the next week or two – stay tuned!

June 28, 2021 05:00 AM

Doctor Popular

The Sergeant Major Bikini Incident

I was just thinking back to our trip to Bermuda a few years ago. Christine had just bought a great new yellow bikini with black polka dots and we were having a great time snorkeling. About 10 minutes in, we noticed a very friendly Sergeant Major fish had decided to swim with us. You can see it in the picture below.

We loved having this curious little fish join us on our exploration,but soon I noticed a sharp pain happening along my legs and torso. I looked down and noticed it was the Sergeant Major, taking little bites at me. I soon realized that he was probably attracted to Christine’s bikini, which was almost exactly the same colors as he was. He probably thought he found a mate!

The post The Sergeant Major Bikini Incident appeared first on Doc Pop's Weblog.

by doc at June 28, 2021 02:13 AM

June 27, 2021

Claire Kao

kwee's week in photos

first time in a theater in 15 months

magical jellies

left: god's creation; right: man's creation

have you ever heard of a dessert called a fool??
first time on the NYC subway in 15 months
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/06/28/remembering-janet-malcolm-who-wrote-and-lived-with-bravery-and-kindness
She's a maniac, maniac on the floor, and she's dancing like she's never danced before

a day in my grandparents' garden: roses, strawberries, sweet potatoes, grapes, hydrangeas, a peter
my grandparents grow sweet potatoes for their leaves! my grandma shaves the stalks with a razor (because they're too tough otherwise) and then stir-fries in oil and garlic and it's absolutely delicious and extremely nutricious 👩‍🍳🤤
trying to communicate how to use technology to seniors is a whole challenge, trying to communicate it across several language barriers is sisyphean (but I don't give up !!!)
龍須菜 (dragon’s whisker, Graciliaria), 黑椒牛柳 (sizzling beef filet in black pepper sauce), 台灣式炸排骨 (taiwanese fried pork chop), 客家筍乾燒肉 (Hakka-style braised pork belly with bamboo shoots), 清炒絲瓜 (stir fried loofah, my grandparents use the dried version as an actual cleaning loofah 🧽), 酸辣湯 (hot and sour soup)

ending the day in my film-noirest dreams 

by Claire (claire.kao@hey.com) at June 27, 2021 06:47 PM

June 25, 2021

I Like Turtles

Giants game

/2021/06/25/giants-game.html

June 25, 2021 04:00 AM

June 21, 2021

Certainly Strange

Hakeev’s Experiments

Got more experimental than I usually do. I wanted to capture the way I felt when I first played “Mind Game,” so I tried to make the piece scary. I tried to give it a fish-eye type of distortion to make it more menacing and disorienting.

by Steen at June 21, 2021 07:50 AM

Claire Kao

🦷🦷 4 less teeth 🦷🦷

💀💀💀💀 + cute lil permanent retainer

teeth had been showing up a lot for me in recent months (see: the 7th entry in this recent post) so obviously I was psychosomatically setting myself up for tooth troubles. And guess what, I had to get all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed this week (!!!). It was my first time experiencing complete general anesthesia, and I was also very scared for the post-surgery recovery given the extreme pain and discomfort my wisdom teeth have given me over the years. When I told my friend Ijeoma I was going to finally do something about my wisdoms, she noted for me how much pain these teeth have put me in throughout the years 😵‍💫🥺

because I'm a food-centric person, my anxieties and experience of this whole ordeal can be traced through my food decisions

my last meal pre-surgery: an enormous, cheesy, delicious al pastor burrito from La Placita in Middletown, CT

no picture of the burrito because it was eaten immediately
it seemed like I was going to have to have a liquid diet in the week following the surgery. so I went whole hog on the yummiest meal I could get my hands on in the middle of Connecticut. 

my grocery haul of semi-liquid/soft food:

food haul.gif
at this point, I was very worried about the anesthesia and also wanted to make sure everything would go as smoothly as possible after the surgery.
I overdramatically ended a conversation with my brother saying, "if I don't wake up from the surgery, just know that I love you".
He called me back a couple hours later and accidentally called my anesthesia a euthanasia: "how are you feeling about your euthanasia tomorrow", thus validating every fear I had (!!!). goodbye, cruel world...

the surgery happened and went swimmingly. day of, I spent the day in bed in a daze and I remembered a yummy banana smoothie recipe that my friend Jenny and I used to make with her mom when we were kids. I texted her for the recipe, and it turned out to be very complex:

banana smoothie.png
my expectation vs. reality of the banana smoothie recipe parallels nicely with the expectation vs. reality of my post-surgery recovery. I ended up experiencing barely any pain and discomfort in the days following, and now appear to be well in the clear. I took the opportunity anyway to take things easy: I spent the time reading, going nuts on Duolingo, eating more applesauce than would be normally acceptable, working minimally

what I ended up being able to eat within 3 days of surgery (a decadent father's day breakfast fry):

breakfast fry.gif
a meal of everything absolutely doused in bacon fat

bonus pics: 

Left: got home and immediately drooled blood down my front; 
Right: a pic I don't remember taking in the recovery area. Happened to capture a sign that says "the taking of pictures and video recordings is strictly prohibited in this office. absolutely no cell phone use in the recovery area". oops

P.S. regarding the title of this post. my faithful copywriter mrcoles (of mrcoles.com fame) reminded me that we use the word “fewer” when it comes to countable nouns like teeth rather than the word “less”. So I’m declaring my usage of the word “less” a stylistic choice. Congrats on getting to the end of the post and to this postscript, I hope it paid off!!

by Claire (claire.kao@hey.com) at June 21, 2021 05:13 AM

Doctor Popular

Some recent love for 1D Chess

My 1D Chess game received a ton of shares and downloads last week. It was great seeing so many new people discover this bizarre chess variant. Somehow the game was featured on marginalrevolution.com, which is a wildly popular blog and a perfect match for my audience.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you can download and print your own 1D Chess game using the rules here

I also checked on the 1D Chess board on BoardGameGeek and saw someone had designed their own box for the game. Neat!

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/322734/one-dimensional-chess

In other game news, I’ve started working on The Lonely Dungeon some lately. A friend is playtesting a version now and I’m excited to hear his feedback.

The post Some recent love for 1D Chess appeared first on Doc Pop's Weblog.

by doc at June 21, 2021 03:12 AM

June 18, 2021

I Like Turtles

Rainbow block party

/2021/06/18/rainbow-block-party.html

June 18, 2021 04:00 AM

June 16, 2021

Potterblog

A little pouring thing! ⁠ ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #pottery #ceramics #ceramicart...



A little pouring thing! ⁠

.⁠
.⁠
#pottery #ceramics #ceramicart #claymade #makersgonnamake #instapotter #kilnfolk #clayart #craft #craftswoman #clay #handbuilding #ceramicglaze #glazechemistry #glazes #maker #design #art #mamamade #handmade #mothermaker #creativemamas #artist #mother #pgh #412 #pghcreative #handmadeceramics #ceramicart #wheelthrown — view on Instagram https://ift.tt/2S30bzL

June 16, 2021 09:20 PM

June 15, 2021

Potterblog

These spoons are fun to hang on a hook, or just twirl around...



These spoons are fun to hang on a hook, or just twirl around your finger. ⁠
.⁠
.⁠
#pottery #ceramics #ceramicart #claymade #makersgonnamake #instapotter #kilnfolk #clayart #craft #craftswoman #clay #handbuilding #ceramicglaze #glazechemistry #glazes #maker #design #art #mamamade #handmade #mothermaker #creativemamas #artist #mother #pgh #412 #pghcreative #handmadeceramics #ceramicart #wheelthrown — view on Instagram https://ift.tt/3cGM0ri

June 15, 2021 05:20 PM

Diegetic Games

Plot Guides for Storytelling Games

Last week I released my first “plot guide” – Save the Galaxy, a supplement for Galactic 2e. This post will explore the design space of plot guides and why I’d love to see more of them.

A Love of Plot

When it comes to storytelling games, I love to weave fast paced plots that reach satisfying conclusions. This is especially true for single-session games where it can be fun to race through key story beats and wrap things up neatly by the end of play.

I’ve found that many games out there have phenomenal support for character creation and arcs, worldbuilding, and individual story beats yet have little to say when it comes to overarching plot.

When there’s a lack of plot support, there’s a risk that the story will meander and players won’t be sure exactly how to push the story forward. Sessions might end with the story just petering out. This is especially true for novice players who might also be focused on learning the rules.

First caveat – there’s no wrong way to play! I’ve played in wonderful sessions that were just focused on worldbuilding or character creation or exploring how characters interact with each other. That said, my personal preference is often for a strong narrative arc with a clear resolution and I often find this type of play unsupported.

Second caveat – I’m most focused on indie tabletop games and especially GMless games. Traditional games (like D&D) have plenty of pre-written adventures or rely on a GM to push the story forward.

Introducing Plot Roadmaps

I’d love to see a new category of game supplements: Plot Guides. These would walk players through a single session of the base game that hits specific narrative beats and tells a complete story.

Ideally these Guides would include:

  • A Script: short instructions that could be read aloud during play, which walk players through all the necessary steps of character creation and play.
  • Scene lists: a series of scene prompts and narrative beats which the players can skim through – some might be optional and some mandatory.

My Example: Save the Galaxy

I’ve just released my first Plot Guide: Save The Galaxy. It’s a supplement for Riley Rethal’s game Galactic 2e. Save the Galaxy guides the players through telling a tightly plotted one shot where a group of heroes foil a dastardly plot by The Mandate (an analog to The Empire in Star Wars).

Galactic 2e is a Belonging Outside Belonging (BoB) game that is heavily inspired by Star Wars. Like other BoB games, there’s no facilitator or dice rolling. Players share responsibility for representing the different elements of the setting in play, as well as the actions of the non-player characters.

Galactic does a great job of supporting character creation and character arcs, through evocative character sheets and moves (actions). However, there isn’t direct support for telling tightly plotted single-session stories – and that’s not the game’s intention.

With Save the Galaxy, my aim is to help any group of players take the strong character sheets and setting pillars from the Galactic Playkit and quickly tell a story with a complete narrative arc. It’s free and only three pages, so I recommend you give it a quick look!

Here’s a breakdown of what’s in it:

  • Page one explains what’s in the guide and walks players through setup
  • Page two has players pick the Threat, Antagonist, and Flaw for the session and then read out a Star Wars-inspired opening crawl that frames the story
  • Page three has a list of scene prompts for each of the three acts and then guides for between-act interludes and an epilogue

And that’s all! My hope is that it’s easy to use at the table and provides plenty of structure without being too constricting. If you end up trying it out, I’d love to hear how it goes.

The Future of Plot Guides

I’d love to see a wave of Plot Guides made for a diverse array of games. I could see them working well for a number of systems beyond Belonging Outside Belonging and they could work well in games with facilitators, too.

I’ve licensed Save the Galaxy under a Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 license which means you can share and remix as much as you’d like. I think there’s room for plenty of other Star Wars inspired story arcs beyond the one I created and I’d love to see what you come up with.

If you hack Save the Galaxy or make your own Plot Guides from scratch, let me know; I’d love to hear about it!

Other Notes

Some games are already oriented toward tightly plotted single sessions. For example, both Fiasco and The Zone do a great job of hitting the right plot beats and reaching an ending.

For a while, I was seeing plenty of adventure starters for Dungeon World, which would give a GM lots of fodder to start a session but not too much support toward finishing one. Dragonslaying on a Timetable is probably the closest I’ve seen to a plot guide and it definitely influenced my design of Save the Galaxy.

Larp, in general, is great for tightly plotted one shots. My own game Behind the Magic even has three acts with scene lists for each. There’s so much tabletop games can learn from larp and I’m excited to see more inspirations from larp show up in tabletop.

June 15, 2021 07:00 AM

June 14, 2021

Potterblog

Scoopy spoon.⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #pottery #ceramics #ceramicart #claymade...



Scoopy spoon.⁠
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#pottery #ceramics #ceramicart #claymade #makersgonnamake #instapotter #kilnfolk #clayart #craft #craftswoman #clay #handbuilding #ceramicglaze #glazechemistry #glazes #maker #design #art #mamamade #handmade #mothermaker #creativemamas #artist #mother #pgh #412 #pghcreative #handmadeceramics #ceramicart #wheelthrown — view on Instagram https://ift.tt/3iBTuzv

June 14, 2021 05:20 PM

Claire Kao

🗳️ NYC mayoral primary 🗳️

RANKED CHOICE!! has! arrived! in NYC! 

(This is for the 2021 New York City mayoral Democratic and Republican primaries on June 22, 2021). I am so excited to participate in a ranked choice election. I genuinely believe that we would have a different president today (and not Trump) if we had a ranked choice election for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.  
 
So, with that in mind, I am excited and feel very engaged with a process that might just represent my political priorities better than voting processes of the past.

Research, research, research

I had no idea where to start with the very crowded field, but was happy to see this tweet a couple weeks ago from a reporter at The City:

and here's the link for the questionnaire

I followed the questionnaire and got accustomed to who everyone was, where they stood, any statements or policy promises they've made. Super helpful!

GoFullPage - The City Questionnaire.png
...and you can use a little something called GoFullPage (on Chrome or Edge) to take a screenshot of your entire questionnaire 😏 for safekeeping

Here were my mayor matches:
Mayor Matches.png

With this starting point, I did some reading and poking around to flesh out what would really be the best voting strategy here.

A couple tips I picked up along the way:
1. only rank people you would enjoy/tolerate in the mayor's office, don't rank them at all if you can't stand the idea of them:
SMI Tweet.JPG

https://twitter.com/s_m_i/status/1403071034530598916?s=21

2. But at the same time, try to max out your ballot with candidates because you could end up having an exhausted ballot:
ballot exhaustion.png
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/28/us/politics/ranked-choice-voting-new-york-mayoral-race.html

If you want to know my final rankings for my mayor vote, email me and I'd be happy to share what I decided and why 👩🏻‍⚖️

A ranked choice simulation, if it helps

And here's a ranked choice simulation suggested by De Blasio that helps demonstrates how this all will work: https://app.rankedvote.co/elections/7568/Best-NYC-Pizza-Topping/7554/vote

Make sure to click into results to see how the voting ends up picking a winner ⭐🍎⭐


by Claire (claire.kao@hey.com) at June 14, 2021 05:20 PM

Certainly Strange

And a bonus

By far the biggest time sink for the Subcommander Scientist uniform was the tunic, so I figured I might as well use the tunic to do a little bonus as well… lol I just had to make the eyepiece and mantle, since everything else was already made. I am also wearing *two* contacts, because I … Continue reading "And a bonus"

by Steen at June 14, 2021 07:05 AM

Doctor Popular

A day trip to the beach

Went to Half Moon Bay to visit family today and had a great time. Of course I brought a yo-yo.

The yo-yo I’m using in that video is a Day Tripper, which will be available on DoctorPopular.com this Tuesday, June 15th, at 9am PDT. It’s an incredible slimline responsive yo-yo. Day Tripper

The post A day trip to the beach appeared first on Doc Pop's Weblog.

by doc at June 14, 2021 03:12 AM

mrcoles

How to programmatically combine & compress PDFs

How to programmatically combine & compress PDFs

June 14, 2021 03:00 AM

June 11, 2021

Potterblog

I made half of this series matte white, and the other half...



I made half of this series matte white, and the other half glossy. Which do you prefer? I’ve always been a sucker for matte glazes, even though they’re notoriously tricky and less durable. ⁠
.⁠
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#pottery #ceramics #ceramicart #claymade #makersgonnamake #instapotter #kilnfolk #clayart #craft #craftswoman #clay #handbuilding #ceramicglaze #glazechemistry #glazes #maker #design #art #mamamade #handmade #mothermaker #creativemamas #artist #mother #pgh #412 #pghcreative #handmadeceramics #ceramicart #wheelthrown — view on Instagram https://ift.tt/3gd56aA

June 11, 2021 05:20 PM